Giving New Meaning to Self-Help: The Autologous Face Fix
I stared at my friend’s face, a face I’d known for years, and something was different. She was positively dewy. Her skin looked radiant, fresher. The lines and furrows I watched grow deeper over countless hours of work and stress were softer, or smoother or something. There was nothing I could put my finger on, but she looked fabulous. She grinned at my frank puzzlement. "Either you just had otherworldly sex or you did something," I finally blurted.
She leaned forward in that just-between-us way she has and confessed. "I had some work done."
Work? This woman? The one who crumbled at the idea of a root canal let alone a scalpel in the face? Of course, like all women of a certain age, we’d talked forever about doing something to slough off a few years. But we agreed that short of stealing Ponce de Leon’s hip flask of youth elixir, we were too chicken to make a move. I was not only intrigued but jealous. "Give."
She gave. The magic is called the Selphyl System, a treatment that harnesses the body’s own healing and growth factors to restore the natural gorgeousness of your face. Not change it, but restore it. It’s called a non-surgical “facelift” because it uses your own body’s platelet-rich Fibrin Matrix to soften and fillß in hollows, lines, even smooth pre-jowl pouches.
Because it’s autologous – you’re your own donor and recipient —there are no foreign substances. That means no risk of allergic or adverse reactions.
I loved the sound of it. But if I hadn’t seen the difference with my own eyes I would have thought Selphyl was mad hype. But the fact was her face was subtly transformed after only one treatment and it had been only a week. It takes two-to-three months for Selphyl to take full effect.
The process is simple. The patient donates a couple of ounces of her own blood. Through patented technology, it’s spun in a centrifuge that separates Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) from other matter floating around in the blood. This dense concentrate is transferred through a closed system to a second tube, which creates Platelet Rich Fibrin Matrix.
All that’s left is to choose the spots you want to go after and inject the homemade (literally) serum. From beginning to end, the whole thing took about a half hour.
"In the first few minutes after the injections, I looked like I walked into a beehive,” she said. “But the bumps and swelling receded really fast. The needles are so small, there was no bruising either."
More than that, there’s no place on the face, hands, and, listen to this, the neck, where it can’t be used. And there’s no getting around the seduction of genuinely rejuvenating yourself with no artificial or manufactured materials. It’s liberating. Comforting. Especially when the reported results last at least 12 months.
On the other hand, while the technology is brilliant, it does require a doctor with a deep knowledge of facial structure and an artistic eye to achieve the most natural-looking results.
The Tampa-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Bart Rademaker, who performed the Selphyl treatment on my friend, is hyper-sensitive to keeping the appearance organic. That means knowing how deep or shallow each injection should be, where each one should be placed and how much Platelet-Rich Fibrin Matrix to inject at each site. With his practice grounded in a deepening understanding of the body’s remarkable restorative and regenerative capabilities, Rademaker said that Selphyl™ delivers consistent, beautiful outcomes. "It’s not the stuff of radical transformation where you walk in with crevices and walk out nothing," he said when I called to check it out. "This is better, it’s subtle and steady with results that keep getting better. You can use it with other injectables – like Botox but you’ll need those less and less."
Like everything, Selphyl will work better on some people than others depending on age, skin type and problems. Generally speaking, though, he said it’s one of the best plays around – fast and safe, FDA approved, with no real downtime.
He’s become such an ardent advocate, he’s now training other plastic surgeons in the technology and technique.
I took another hard, appraising look at my friend. I saw that the gully that ran from her nose to her mouth had fleshed out and the hollows under her eyes just about gone. Even the little vertical lines than puckered her upper lip here and there were softer, almost invisible. And while I studied her face, I plotted my first trip to Tampa. Hey, who knew the fountain of youth-iness was in my own body all along.